A Classic Silverstone Weekend

How was your weekend? Mine was one of the best so allow me to tell you more. It all started after I was lucky enough to win two Sunday tickets for the Silverstone Classic in an IMI draw. I then immediately rounded up two friends, we bought extra Saturday tickets, booked a hotel for the night and were all set. There was an amazing race card that ranged from saloon cars to former Le Mans cars. Two WW2 Spitfires appeared on a number of occasions showing off both the capability of the aircraft and the skill of their pilots. There was even a great line up of live music set for the Saturday evening that included the Hollies (old readers will remember them!). Sadly, for us three ‘oldies’, there was a weather related incident and we were red-flagged, so the music was not to be…

There were car clubs displaying a huge range of vehicles from the very old to the very new. Stalls were selling everything you could imagine, and there were even rides on Routemaster buses if that was your thing. There were also more Porches than I have ever seen and they even got to drive the track (slowly) on the Sunday. For us keen race fans however, it was all about the action on the track so we settled into grandstand seats at the ‘Village’ and we were ready for a great day of racing – and we were not disappointed. I should mention that this grandstand was not covered – a fact that becomes relevant later. ‘Village’ corner is the first serious turn for cars after starting from the grid on International Straight and going through Abbey and Farm Curve.

Figure 1 Where else could you see a Cooper T45, a Routemaster bus and an Aston Martin DBR4?

The first race we watched on Saturday was the ‘FIA Masters Historic Formula 1’. This included cars such as the Hesketh 308E, Brabham BT49C, Tyrell 012 and lots more amazing F1 classics – it was very nostalgic. The value of some of these cars is enormous but the way some of them are driven you wouldn’t think so – but that is what real racers do. The race was won by Michael Lyons (GBR) in a RAM Williams FW07. He also did the fastest lap in a time of 1:53.861 and then repeated both of these achievements in the re-run of the race on the Sunday.

My favourite race on the Saturday was the Trans-Atlantic Touring Car Trophy (Masters Pre 66 TC), which was the next one up. They were racing in different categories but watching the brave (crazy?) Mini Cooper drivers undercut cars like Ford Mustangs and Ford Lotus Cortinas on the Village corner was great fun. They lost out again on the longer straights but it didn’t matter.

The track action continued with Pre 61 GP cars, Historic Sports cars and then F2 cars versus F5000s; Michael Lyons won on the Saturday and Sunday in both F2 vs. F5000 races too, this time in a Lola 400.

Figure 2 Minis making the most of their cornering ability at Village

After the Super Touring Car Trophy race it was time for the Jim Clark Trophy for HGPCA Pre 66 Grand Prix Cars. The race started cleanly and the cars came round past Village bunched up but somehow they all got through. There were some great overtakes on the corner and then a spot of rain fell. And then a few more drops, so we put our waterproofs on. Then the heavens opened and we could hardly see the cars – the drivers later reported that they couldn’t either – which was a little more worrying. The race was stopped on lap 6 with Jason Minshaw (GBR) in a Brabham BT4 leading. In the meantime we ran for cover but in that area there was little or none available – so for us the race was over, because… well let’s just leave it that our ‘full-wet gear’ kept us dry under the waterproof jacket but not anywhere else! As a result, we gave in and went back to the hotel. Some lucky enough to find cover may have been able to stay and hear the Hollies sing ‘All I Need is the Air that I Breathe’ but there was too much water in the air for us!

Figure 3 FIA Masters Historic Formula One race where a JPS Lotus is just about to get past a Tyrrell

On Sunday the weather was much better and this meant we got our chance to set a PB lap time.

The race card was similar to Saturday so just as exciting. We watched from several different parts of the track this time but ended up back at the Village as, notwithstanding roofing issues, it is a great vantage point. The day started with Historic Formula Ford, then Pre 56 Sports cars and repeats of previous races as run on Saturday. There were two highlights for me on Sunday. The first was the Group C Endurance race, which is effectively made up of previous Le Mans cars. This was won by late entrant French driver Nicolas Minassian in a Jaguar XJR14 (in Silk Cut livery) with a fastest lap time of 1:46.712, which was over seven seconds faster than the next nearest. Watching this car accelerate away from Aintree corner was amazing, and then when the turbos cut in it was even better!

The second highlight was watching Jackie Oliver (former British F1 driver) and Gary Pearson win the RAC Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars (Pre 63 GT) in a car number 60, a yellow Ferrari 250 SWB. There was frustration too in this race for Jakon Holstein in car number 89, a Ginetta G4, as he spun off right in front of us in Copse corner on the second lap. His co-driver Tue Hodal didn’t even get a drive. They had travelled all the way from Denmark for the race so I hope they enjoyed watching the other races as much as we did!

Figure 4 Silverstone marshals as efficient as ever but this frustrated driver had the be towed out

Overall this was an amazing weekend topped off nicely as, after driving home, I watched a recording of Lewis Hamilton winning the 2013 Hungarian GP.

By the way, our personal best (PB) lap was achieved on the Sunday where we set a time of 1:43 (that’s one hour forty three minutes walking round the outside of the track).

More information and full results of all the races are available from: www.silverstoneclassic.com.

Tom Denton

Bosch collision warning system in use in racing at Le Mans

Bosch technology on board the Audi R18 e-tron quattro, Ferrari 458 Italia, GT2 Corvette C6.R, Porsche 911 RSR and Porsche 911 GT3 RSR as well as SRT Viper GTS-R

  • Radar-based collision warning system being used by Corvette Racing
  • Every Le Mans winner since 2000 has used Bosch injection technology

This year, as the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race marks its 90th anniversary, there will be Bosch technology on board 21 of the cars in the starting lineup. The cars feature Bosch diesel and gasoline injection systems, hybrid components, engine control units, displays, data loggers, telemetry systems, starters and generators, as well as cable harnesses and sensors.

Radar-based collision avoidance system

In a first for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Corvette Racing team will be employing a new collision warning system developed by U.S. motor racing equipment supplier Pratt & Miller in collaboration with Bosch Motorsport. One major hazard, particularly in endurance racing, is posed by the speed differential between vehicle classes whenever high-speed LMP (Le Mans Prototype) cars come to lap GTE (Grand Touring Endurance) cars based on series production models. The new system is based on a third-generation Bosch long-range radar sensor (LRR3) fitted to the rear of the vehicle. With an aperture angle of up to 30 degrees, the sensor can detect objects at a distance of 250 meters. It can also track up to 32 objects simultaneously, along with their distance and speed relative to the car. The system combines this information with video footage to show drivers on a cockpit display the vehicles that are behind them, how fast they are approaching, and on which side they are overtaking. “This means drivers always know what’s going on behind them – which is a huge advantage, especially in rainy conditions or night driving,” explains Dr. Klaus Böttcher, vice president of Bosch Motorsport.

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Injection technology for all vehicle classes

Since 2000, Bosch injection technology has guaranteed victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In the last six years, the only vehicles to have won the race overall have been Audi Sport and Peugeot Sport diesel and diesel hybrid cars. In 2013, Bosch is once again a development partner for the Audi R18 e-tron quattro racing hybrid, providing both the diesel injection system and electric drive components.

This year’s classic endurance race will once again see Bosch gasoline direct injection on the starting grid, as it features in the Ferrari 458 Italia cars in the Le Mans GTE classes. Based on the company’s very latest series production technology, the system has been optimized to cope with the challenging conditions of motor racing. The gasoline direct injection system’s electronic portion comprises the MS 5.1 engine control unit and the HPI 5 high-pressure power stage unit, while its hydraulic portion is made up of HDEV 5 high-pressure injection valves and the HDP 5 high-pressure pump with integrated demand control valve. The electrically controlled HDEV 5 high-pressure solenoid valve with multihole technology was tailored to the customer’s precise specifications and the spray pattern was matched to the engine’s specific combustion chamber geometry. Bosch Motorsport supplies the impressively small and light HDP 5 high-pressure fuel pump with a cam profile that is tailored to the engine’s individual characteristics

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Comprehensive motor racing portfolio

Many of the race teams use other Bosch Motorsport technologies in addition to the company’s injection systems. The Ferrari 458 Italia GTC cars feature a tailored version of the Bosch DDU 8 display. Meanwhile Corvette Racing uses engine control units, data loggers, and DDU 7 displays for their GT2 Corvette C6.R racing cars. The SRT Viper GTS-R vehicles are equipped for the first time with engine control units and data loggers from Bosch. All these products are specially developed for motor racing, produced in small series, and carefully tailored to the cars using customer-specific software packages. Bosch Motorsport also produces the telemetry systems that transfer data between the car and the pits during a race to give team engineers a constant overview of the technical status of the car’s systems. For the Porsche 911 RSR as well as Porsche 911 GT3 RSR vehicles, Bosch supplies the engine control units, engine data loggers, starters, and numerous sensors. The majority of the components are based on series production technology that has been adapted to the gruelling requirements of endurance racing.

(Source: Bosch Media)

Engine mapping – quick overview re Red Bull F1

The following is from one of my textbooks and refers to ignition timing – fig 10-17 shows a timing and dwell map (a similar method is used to determine engine fuelling.

The F1 issue seems to be that the FIA regulations say that the ‘looked up’ (vertical axis) should be set so as to produce maximum torque at all times when the driver requests it from the throttle pedal.

F1 systems are complex but this should help:

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The basic ignition advance angle is obtained from a memorized cartographic map. This is held in a ROM chip within the ECU. The parameters for this are:

  • Engine rpm – given by the flywheel sensor.
  • Engine load /Inlet air pressure – given by the manifold absolute pressure sensor.

The above two parameters (speed and load) give the basic setting but to ensure optimum advance angle the timing is corrected by:

  • Coolant temperature.
  • Air temperature.
  • Throttle position.

Figure 1017 Engine timing and dwell maps

The ignition is set to a predetermined advance during the starting phase. Figure 10.17 shows a typical advance map and a dwell map used by the Motronic system. These data are held in ROM. For full ignition control, the electronic control unit has first to determine the basic timing for three different conditions:

  • Under idling conditions, ignition timing is often moved very quickly by the ECU in order to control idle speed. When timing is advanced, engine speed will increase within certain limits.
  • Full load conditions require careful control of ignition timing to prevent combustion knock. When a full load signal is sensed by the ECU (high manifold pressure) the ignition advance angle is reduced.
  • Partial throttle is the main area of control and, as already stated, the basic timing is set initially by a programme as a function of engine speed and manifold pressure.

Corrections are added according to:

  • Operational strategy.
  • Knock protection.
  • Phase correction.

The ECU will also control ignition timing variation during overrun fuel cut-off and reinstatement and also ensure anti-jerk control. When starting, the ignition timing plan is replaced by a specific starting strategy. Phase correction is when the ECU adjusts the timing to take into account the time taken for the HT pulse to reach the spark plugs. To ensure good drivability the ECU can limit the variations between the two ignition systems to a maximum value, which varies according to engine speed and the basic injection period.

A three-dimensional cartographic map, shown in Figure 9.25, is used to represent how the information on an engine’s fuelling requirements is stored. This information forms part of a read only memory (ROM) chip in the ECU. When the ECU has determined the look-up value of the fuel required (injector open time), corrections to this figure can be added for battery voltage, temperature, throttle change or position and fuel cut off.

Figure 925 Cartographic map used to represent how the information on an engine’s fuelling requirements are stored

 

German Touring Car Masters 2012

DTM relies on Bosch technology once more

  • In 2012, DTM will once again feature Bosch engine management, displays, and other standard components
  • MS 5.1 engine control unit and DDU 8 display used for the first time
  • Bosch Motorsport supplies both series technology optimized for racing cars and technology specially developed for motor racing

When the cars line up at the starting grid on the Hockenheimring on April 29, 2012 for the opening race of the German Touring Car Masters (DTM), they will once again have Bosch technology on board. Among the features common to all the racing cars taking part in the series – the Audi A5 DTM, the BMW M3 DTM and the DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé – are the Bosch Motorsport MS 5.1 engine control unit and DDU 8 display. The 2012 race season is the debut for both products and sees them replacing their respective Bosch predecessors.

Figure 1 ECU and customizable display

The Bosch Motorsport MS 5.1 control unit and the related engine management software make it possible to set numerous parameters individually and to analyze the data generated while driving laps. This allows teams to adjust the racing cars’ engine and chassis setup quickly and in a targeted way. “The new DTM control unit is considerably smaller and lighter than its predecessor. Its high-performance digital processor core is particularly impressive. The electronics are embedded in a dust- and waterproof housing which also protects it from vibrations and temperature variations, making it ideal for the demands placed by motorsport,” explains Klaus Böttcher, Vice President of Bosch Motorsport. Another piece of standard equipment in all DTM vehicles is Bosch Motorsport’s DDU 8 display with integrated data logger. Drivers can call up all relevant vehicle data on up to 12 color display pages while driving. Each team can customize the information displayed on each page to meet the needs of the team and the drivers.

Bosch Motorsport also provides numerous other components for all the DTM racing cars, including starters, generators, vehicle cable harnesses, wiper motor, and the power box. In addition to these standard components, the teams make use of Bosch Motorsport sensors, ignition components, and fuel injectors. These components are based to a large degree on series-production technology, but are adapted to the higher demands placed on them by motor racing. “We work together closely on this with the prototype production departments at Bosch plants. As a result, teams benefit from the know-how of a leading automotive supplier in every component,” says Böttcher.

Bosch has been a partner to the race series since the start of the new DTM in 2000 and supplies the teams with a whole range of products. Besides DTM, Bosch is also a provider of standard electric and electronic components to Formula 3 and to the U.S. Grand Am race series. Moreover, several race teams in the Le Mans 24 Hours and in many other competitions use Bosch Motorsport systems and components. As an experienced systems and components supplier for many race series, Bosch Motorsport and its experts have the systems competence and integration know-how required for motor racing applications. Bosch Motorsport is part of Bosch Engineering GmbH, a Bosch subsidiary that specializes in engineering services, and looks back on 111 years of participation in the world of motor racing. Bosch technology first helped racing drivers to victory in 1901.

Additional information can be accessed at www.bosch-engineering.com

NASCAR Sprint cars fuel injection


It was the end of a 50 year era; NASCAR Sprint will remove the carburettors, and add a new fuel injection systems! The electronics giant Freescale and McLaren provide the technology, but it’s still the drivers and technicians at the track that turn it into something special. I expect this is not a move supported by some die-hard fans…

Figure 1 NASCAR electronic fuel injection system ECU, which debut at Daytona in February 2012, contain Freescale MCUs.

McLaren MP4-26

A few interesting facts and figures:

Specifications

Monocoque: McLaren-moulded carbonfibre composite incorporating front and side impact structures
Front suspension: Inboard torsion bar/damper system operated by pushrod and bell crank with a double wishbone arrangement
Rear suspension: Inboard torsion bar/damper system operated by pullrod and bell crank with a double wishbone arrangement
Electronics: McLaren Electronic Systems. Including chassis control, engine control, data acquisition, dashboard, alternator, sensors, data analysis and telemetry. (standardised by the FIA)
Bodywork: Carbon-fibre composite. Separate engine cover, sidepods and floor. Structural nose with intergral front wing
Tyres: Pirelli P Zero
Radio: Kenwood
Race wheels: Enkei
Brake callipers: Akebono
Master cylinders: Akebono
Batteries: GS Yuasa Corporation
Steering: McLaren power-assisted
Instruments: McLaren Electronic Systems
Paint solutions: AkzoNobel Car Refinishes using Sikkens Products
KERS: Mercedes-Benz, Engine-mounted electrical motor/generator with integrated energy storage cells and power electronics. 60kW power.

Transmission

Gearbox: McLaren-moulded carbon-fibre composite. Integral rear impact structure. Seven forward and one reverse gear.
Gear selection: McLaren seamless shift, hand-operated
Clutch: Carbon/carbon, hand-operated
Lubricants: Mobil

Engine

Designation: Mercedes-Benz FO 108Y
Configuration: V8 in 90° bank angle
Capacity: 2.4 litres
Maximum rpm: 18,000
Piston bore maximum: 98mm
Number of valves: 32
Fuel: ExxonMobil High Performance Unleaded (5.75% bio fuel)
Spark plugs: NGK racing spark plugs specially designed for Mercedes-Benz F1 engine
Lubricants: Mobil 1 – combining greater performance, protection and cooling with increased economy and lower emissions
Weight: 95kg (minimum FIA regulation weight)

McLaren MP4-26 – F1technical.net

Team Lotus at Duxford

Just enjoyed a great day out watching team Lotus do a few practice runs and pit stops. They also announced the purchase of Caterham – nice tie up I think. During this ATT research trip my assistant Beth (the one on the right in the picture below!) and I met Jarno Truli.

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Karun Chandhok was there and it was good to meet him too – actually he seems to be everywhere somehow!

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Didn’t manage to meet the boss Tony Fernandes, but snapped him together with Heiki Kovalainen as they showed off the F1 car and the Caterham:

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Mike Gascoyne was there of course but too busy to meet with us!!

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Great day out, sorry, I mean, a very productive research event… (videos to follow).

Tom